What Is Coffee Crema?

espresso shots with crema

QUESTION: I’ve heard some people talking about coffee crema and how it’s their favorite part of the espresso. I’m just not sure what it is. What is coffee crema? — Michael V.

ANSWER: Crema is a substance that’s a natural result of the process of making espresso—or at least of making espresso well. However, not all coffee drinkers agree that it contributes to the taste of a good espresso. 

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What Grind Is Best for Chemex?

chemex coffee maker with filter

QUESTION: What grind Is best for Chemex? I just received a 6 cup classic Chemex coffee maker as a gift, but I’m not sure how fine or coarse I should grind the beans. Which grind size will work the best in my new Chemex? 

ANSWER: Your coffee beans should be ground to medium-coarse if you will brew your coffee in a Chemex. A Chemex arrangement can be fussy to work with, so make sure to grind the coffee beans so they’re between medium and coarse.

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QuikTrip Gas Station Coffee Review

by Lars Hundley Lately I’ve been visiting gas stations near me that ranked highly in GasBuddy’s rankings of best gas station coffee by state. Turns out there was a QuikTrip gas station just a mile and a half from my workplace, so I stopped by yesterday after work to buy a coffee. After seeing Racetrac’s … Read more

What Kind of Coffee is Ethiopian?

sorting ethiopian coffee beans and drying

QUESTION: What kind of coffee is Ethiopian? It’s where coffee originated, right? So is it a certain type? – Brad D. 

ANSWER: It is pretty much impossible to describe Ethiopian coffee characteristically, as the types of coffee that are grown (and growing wildly) across Ethiopia vary widely. Ethiopia is widely believed to be the birthplace of coffee cultivation, and it is also one of the few countries where coffee grows naturally in the wild. With a large number of coffee farms spread out across the different regions of Ethiopia, as well as all of the coffee that grows in the wild, there are well over 1,000 different varieties of coffee grown within the country’s borders. 

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How Long Does Coffee Last After Grinding?

ground coffee and a measuring spoon

QUESTION: How long will my coffee stay fresh after the beans have been ground? What if I store them in a plastic container or in the freezer?. — Michael W.

ANSWER: The short answer to your first question is that coffee beans begin to lose their freshness immediately after they are ground. The best thing you can do is grind your coffee just before brewing. After just 15 minutes, your coffee will have lost 60 percent of its refreshing aroma (and scent is a large part of the taste experience). 

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Costa Rican Coffee Vs. Colombian Coffee, Compared

coffee plantation in costa rica

by Matt Gibson

What environmental factors make a location ideal for growing great coffee? Well, high elevations, rich volcanic soil, a tropical to temperate climate, and plenty of shade is needed to grow the most flavorful and aromatic beans possible. Two coffee producing countries that are blessed with all of these environmental conditions are Costa Rica and Colombia. 

Costa Rica is a small country, and they are only responsible for about one percent of the entire world’s coffee production. So, instead of churning out massive amounts of coffee, Costa Rica prefers to focus on quality over quantity. They even outlawed the production of robusta beans within their borders, making it illegal to grow anything other than the higher quality arabica beans in Costa Rica. Talk about dedication. 

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How Does the Swiss Water Decaf Process Work?

decaf coffee beans

QUESTION: How does the Swiss Water decaf process work? Is it really any better? How would water even work to take away the caffeine in coffee? – Graham H. 

ANSWER: The Swiss Water decaffeination method is the best possible way to remove caffeine from coffee beans. Not only is the process free of any harmful chemicals, but it also takes extra care to ensure that the flavor, aroma, and nutritional content of the coffee is not compromised in any way by the decaffeination process.  

In a market where decaf coffees that were processed using chemicals and solvents are the norm, finding a decaf coffee that is made with safety and quality in mind isn’t easy. That’s why we recommend only purchasing decaf coffee that has the Swiss Water process seal. The Swiss Water caffeine removal method claims that the process uses, “only water, temperature, and time to gently remove caffeine, while preserving all the coffee’s original characteristics.”  

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